So this week I asked Alyssa for some advice or insight on a particular concern that I have been pondering in general. I have wondered what to do to help those that seem apathetic in regards to the church and in keeping their covenants. And even more importantly, helping someone understand the significance of the Gospel and how much it can help them in their daily living if they just allow it. How do you get someone to even care about or even desire for knowledge of the truth? This was her response:
As far as your question, that is hard....I would give a few suggestions and hope they help. First is that the most important thing they can do is have personal experiences for themselves. Whatever you can do to facilitate those experiences is what will help lead them to lasting conversion...the spirit is necessary in those experiences, otherwise it won't make much of a difference. One thing that I have noticed is that the Spirit will ALWAYS testify of the Savior and His atonement (which is the basis of everything important to us) as well as the First Vision. Teach those and get them off their phones and beg them to think about their eternal salvation. It is hard and takes work but loving them is also so important. Show them the love that Christ and God have for them through your actions, and maybe it will help make a difference for them. It can be a challenge, but do like Moroni advises and then pray for that charity with all the energy of your soul!
The Book of Mormon is a challenge for people here because it is written in super difficult kanji that people don't recognize and so a lot of times they whine when we make them read it because they claim they don't understand, but I have seen the Spirit help people like Ayaka understand, and I know if they do it with the right heart and intent, they will come to know of the truth. It can be a process, but it is going. Introducing Christ can be hard too because usually they just know the name if we are that lucky, but the best way they come to know Him is through the Book of Mormon...it all comes down to that.
So, definitely some things I can work on. Here is her group letter:
First of all, I know that bizarre isn't spelled like that, please read
on for further explanation and to understand the full nature of my wit
(haha) and secondly sorry in advance that this email is going to be
short and sporadic because we had a longer adventure today and I had
to help an elder write his college application essay, basically it is
like I am back home haha.
This week was great and we saw so many miracles! I have seen how
willing God is to bless us as we simply do our best and TRY to fulfill
His work. His mercy and His love are so infinite.
Something kind of fun was we had the chance to dendo in a couple more
typhoons this week...haha it was pretty fun and wet and cold and
overall would have been okay if it wasn't for the fact that Nihonjin
are like cats and they hate the rain and don't really like to talk to
us on those days... but we were able to see God's hand guiding us to
those who were willing to listen (we found some GREAT new PI's and
Eikaiwa students), especially as we just tried our best to survive
working in the weather! I love Japan so much.
One of my favorite experiences from the week (and maybe even my
mission) was the chance that I had to contact this 10 year old girl
named Ayana....she told us she didn't believe in God because it
confused her to know where God comes from. I was able to testify and
tell her that God lives and loves her and that she is one of His
precious daughters with infinite value and worth. As I testified, she
got the biggest smile on her face and the Spirt was so strong. At the
end of our contact her entire countenance had changed and she seemed
to walk a little taller. These sweet Japanese girls don't get told
things like that very often, and to be able to help lift her faith
even a tiny bit was so beyond worth it to me.
Another cool thing was that we had this barbecue for the ward and
investigators this week, and so many people came! It was amazing! The
ward was so great and fellowshipped all of our investigators that came
(fun fact, we had these two Eikaiwa students come and try and provide
beer for everyone, THAT was an awkward thing to clear up haha), but it
was truly such a great experience for the ward to get involved in
dendo. I never thought I could love an area as much as I loved
Yamatokoriyama, but Shimogamo has basically started stealing my heart
as well. The Japanese members are so incredible and are changing my
life and I don't even know how it is possible for my heart to hold the
amount of love that it currently is. So cool!
Another miracle! Last night we were Streeting before our dinner
appointment and we had like no time but wanted to find some good
people to teach so we prayed super fervently for good contacts...the
last lady we stopped that night just happens to live super close to the
church and just happens to have been looking for an Eikaiwa class and
just happens to have her one work break on Wednesday night...oh my
heavens Folkman Shimai and I almost fell over when we heard all of
this stuff, she was SO led to us by our loving Heavenly Father! Being
a missionary and witnessing all of this stuff every single day is just
Funny thing...in order to fellowship one of our Eikaiwa students she
invited us to her Junior High Bazaar and it was hilarious because we
get in there and we are the only foreigners and we are suddenly
swarmed by all these junior high kids who want to show us their goods
and somehow I ended up with a homemade coaster and made a paper crane
(made to iu ka, I failed miserably and some other girls helped me fix
it haha). I have never felt so loved and popular in my entire life!
One last thought (sorry this email is so the worst and is probably so
wrong grammatically and that breaks my heart but oh well)...I just
want to testify that God blesses us in every aspect of our lives as we
simply try to follow Him and His will. Lately we have been working
super hard and trying to contact everyone and teach lots of lessons
and haven't seen a TON of outward results in investigators...but then
suddenly out of the blue this mom and her four kids show up to Eikaiwa
and they self-referred and have a Christian background and speak
English and want to take the lessons....we were blown away but it was
such a testimony to me that God sees every single little effort we put
into His work, and He is willing to bless us like a hundredfold. I
will never get over His grace and His mercy!
I love you all so much and hope you have a great week. This church is
true and I feel blessed to be hear sharing it. Until next week!
P.S. Mike and Sully are our most progressing investigators....we role
play to them everyday and I am pretty sure they are gonna get baptized
soon, just saying.
|I love the Sister's fans in the background|
|Baptist Eye Clinic. Shout out to her Dad.|
|Happy Elder or suprised|
|Role playing with their silent investigators|
|Drowned rats eating icecream|